The independent Science Advisory Panel (SAP) provides scientific peer review and validation of science implementation to the Chief Scientist and the Minister of Environment and Parks.

Advice from the SAP will be used to guide continuous improvements in scientific standards and processes to ensure they are credible and meet or set global best practices.

Roles and responsibilities

Responsibilities of the SAP include:

  • Providing the Chief Scientist and the Minister of Environment and Parks independent advice and recommendations on Alberta’s environmental science program, including recommendations on priorities and methodologies.
  • Reviewing the scientific quality and relevance of the environmental science program, including its components and any related research programs and plans
  • Assessing the scientific integrity of the environmental science program and commenting publicly as necessary


Search the list of public agencies to find the Panel's:

  • mandate and roles
  • code of conduct
  • agency classification

Panel members

  • Photo of Dr. David Hik

    Chair - Dr. David Hik, Ph.D

    Dr. David Hik is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University, and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Science. He holds a B.Sc. from Queen’s University, a M.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.

    His research interests are focused on the ecology and ecosystem dynamics of mountain and cold-region environments; determinants of social-ecological resilience; and the interface between science and policy.

    Dr. Hik previously held the Canada Research Chair in Northern Ecology (2002-2012) and served as Executive Director of the Canadian International Polar Year (IPY) Secretariat (2004-2009).  He recently completed terms as President of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and Vice-Chair of the Arctic Council’s ‘Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON)’ initiative.  Dr. Hik has extensive experience providing scientific advice to both government and non-governmental organizations, including Polar Knowledge Canada; the US National Research Council; the Arctic Center, University of Lapland; and the Arctic Institute of Community-Based Research, Yukon.

    He has been a member of the Science Advisory Panel since 2016.

  • Portrait of Doctor Laurie Chan

    Dr. Laurie Chan, Ph.D

    Dr. Laurie Chan is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Toxicology and Environmental Health at the University of Ottawa. He obtained a B.Sc. and M.Phil at the University of Hong Kong and a Ph.D. in Toxicology at the University of London.

    Dr. Chan’s research focuses on the exposure of chemical contaminants and their effects found in the diet and environment, particularly among Indigenous Peoples.

    Dr. Chan has also served as an advisor for international and national governments and organizations and numerous Indigenous communities on environmental health issues. He has been awarded a number of prestigious fellowships, including Leopold Fellow, Japan Society of Promotion of Science Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

  • Photo of Dr. Steven Cooke

    Dr. Steven Cooke, Ph.D

    Dr. Steven Cooke is a Canada Research Professor of Environmental Science at Carleton University in Ottawa and Director of the Canadian Centre for Evidence-Based Conservation. He holds a B.ES. and M.Sc. from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana.

    Dr. Cooke’s research focuses on recreational fisheries science, fish biology, aquatic ecology, restoration ecology, and evidence-based conservation and management of natural resources.

    Dr. Cooke has been the recipient of several awards, including, Robin Welcome Fellow in Inland Fisheries at Michigan State University, T.D. Water Bean Visiting Professor in the Environment at the University of Waterloo, Fellow of the American Fisheries Society, and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

  • Photo of Dr. Irena Creed

    Dr. Irena Creed, Ph.D

    Dr. Irena Creed is a Professor of the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. She holds a B.Sc. in Zoology, M.Sc. in Botany and Environmental Studies and a Ph.D. in Geography all from the University of Toronto.

    Dr. Creed’s research focuses on understanding the impacts climate change the intensification of human activities have on landscape hydrology, biogeochemistry, ecology and ecosystem services.

    Dr. Creed is a recipient of The Royal Society of Canada’s Bancroft Award for outstanding contributions in earth sciences, and was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

  • Photo of Dr. Alan Jenkins

    Dr. Alan Jenkins, Ph.D

    Dr. Alan Jenkins is the Deputy Director and Director Science at the United Kingdom Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). He holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England.

    Dr. Jenkins research interests in water modelling, particularly the application of models, methods and data to address hydro-meteorological problems and underpin hydroclimate services.

    Dr. Jenkins also serves as the Chair of the UK Committee for National and International Hydrology, Head of the UK Delegation to the UNESCO International Hydrology Programme, Hydrological Adviser to the UK Government with the World Meteorological Organization, UK representative to the European Network of Water Research Centres (EurAqua). Dr. Jenkins is an Honorary Professor at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, a Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography, University College London and an Honorary Research Fellow of the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen.

  • Photo of Dr. Karen Kidd

    Dr. Karen Kidd, Ph.D

    Dr. Karen Kidd is the Jarislowsky Chair in Environment & Health and a Professor at McMaster University. She holds a PhD in Environmental Biology and Ecology from the University of Alberta.

    Dr. Kidd’s research focuses on the fate and effects of contaminants in fresh waters from the tropics to the Arctic.

    Dr. Kidd has served on several national and international scientific boards including ones with the International Joint Commission, the United Nations Environmental Programme, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Her expertise has been recognized with a Canada Research Chair and she is the recipient of several national and international awards including Fellow of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the Recipharm International Environmental Award, and the Society of Canadian Limnologists’ Rigler Award.

  • Photo of Dr. Ellen Macdonald

    Dr. Ellen Macdonald, Ph.D

    Dr. Ellen Macdonald is a Professor of Forest Ecology and Chair of the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. She holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Biology and a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology, both from the University of Calgary.

    Dr. Macdonald’s research interests include the influence of natural and human-caused disturbances on the ecology and plant biodiversity of the boreal forest, as well as regeneration processes and successional dynamics of dynamics of boreal mixedwood forests.

    Dr. Macdonald is the recipient of several awards including The University of Alberta University Cup, International Union of Forest Research Organisations Scientific Achievement Award, and the Canadian Institute of Forestry Scientific Achievement Award.

  • Photo of Dr. Russell Schnell

    Dr. Russell Schnell, Ph.D

    Dr. Russell Schnell is the recently retired Deputy Director of the Global Monitoring Laboratory of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Boulder, Colorado, USA and now a senior scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder.   He holds first class honour’s degrees in Biology from the University of Alberta, and Chemistry from Memorial University, Newfoundland, and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming, in Atmospheric Science.

    Dr. Schnell’s current research includes monitoring greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting gases, aerosols, solar and infrared radiation at Baseline Observatories. He has 126 reviewed scientific publications, nine of them in Nature in five different scientific fields. He has conducted research in 92 counties.

    Significant contributions made by Dr. Schnell include the discovery of biological ice nuclei, first used in snowmaking, food preservation, and preserving human organs for transplant. While working at the NOAA, Dr. Schnell was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He also received a honourary Doctorate from the University of Alberta in 2015.

Compensation disclosure

Public sector bodies are required to post online the names and compensation paid to:

This is a requirement under the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. The postings are required by June 30 each year and will be maintained for 5 years.

Compensation disclosure file and nil reports


Connect with the Science Advisory Panel, by contacting the Office of the Chief Scientist:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: [email protected]

10th Floor, 9888 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5C6

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